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Art from the Margins announces the winners for the National Biennial Outsider Art Awards

Published Wednesday 11 September 2019
  • Disability and Mental Health

Andrew Neilan, an artist from Shorncliffe, has taken out first place with his winning self-portrait Spilt Milk. The forty-six-year-old said it was an honour and a privilege to be chosen as the winner.

“So many of the images we see in the media and on social media are all about beauty and happiness. I wanted to create an artwork portraying those darker, harder emotions that we don’t normally see.

“I taught myself to paint as a teenager, but it’s only been in the past two years that I’ve returned to art and I’ve been working hard to hone my skills and it means a lot to share my story and art with others.”

Aunty Marlene Wilson was the runner up with her piece Flourishing. Followed by Emerging Artist winners Clinton Barker, Janice Crosbie, Anne Parker, Crystal Parry and Michael Tichowitsch.


Runner up Aunty Marlene Wilson accepting her prize. 

AFTM’s Outsider Art Awards have been running annually since 2008 to coincide with Disability Action Week. This year, it was opened nationally, giving new and emerging artists who are living with adversity the chance to enter.


Emerging Artist winners accepting their prize. 

Over 170 artists from across Australia entered in the new competition and 60 artworks were selected to be showcased. The winners chosen by Steven Alderton, Director and CEO of the National Art School in Sydney.


Stellar Arts Beats high energy performance. 

Stephanie Lindquist, General Manager of the AFTM program said that they were really impressed with the number and caliber of the entries received this year, with entries from four States including NSW, SA, NT and QLD.

“The artists have used a range of mediums including painting, photography and sculpture and it’s wonderful to see new and emerging artists from around the country finding unique ways to share their stories,” Ms Lindquist said.

Geoff Batkin, CEO of Wesley Mission Queensland, said the Art from the Margins program was created to bring artists together and to bridge the gap between those living in isolation and the wider arts community and the public. 

“Art from the Margins is more than just a visual arts program – it provides artists with creative support, mentoring and professional development, art workshops, and the opportunity to exhibit their work to the wider community.

The exhibition will be open until 5 October at Art from the Margins Gallery in Fortitude Valley.